WEST-E Practice

WEST-E Practice
Sample Questions and Answers
The WEST-E and Syntax
• You should know the
– Recognize similarities and
differences between the
syntactic systems of English
and the languages of ESOL
– Example: An ESOL student
who is a native speaker of
Spanish says, "I live in a house
white." What is the most likely
explanation for the
occurrence of this error?
• Be familiar with the major
syntactic structures of
English and know how
ESOL students experience
the stages of syntactic
– Examples:
• How are declarative sentences
formed in English?
• How are interrogative
sentences formed in English?
• Be able to identify the
parts of speech,
understand the English
verb system, and analyze
student errors
– Examples:
– How does the word "treat" function
differently in the following
• Let me treat you to dinner.
• Ice cream is a special treat.
– What is this aspect of grammar
– What is the third person singular
construction of the verb "write" in
the present perfect tense?
• Be familiar with idioms and
nonliteral expressions and
know how they can affect
ESOL students'
understanding of spoken
and written English.
– Examples:
• What is an idiom?
• How are idioms different from
other nonliteral expressions?
• Understand how
transformations and
structural changes of
sentences affect meaning
– Examples:
– What are the grammatical
differences between a sentence
that uses the active voice and a
sentence that uses the passive
– What are the grammatical
differences between declarative
and interrogative sentences?
WEST-E Questions
• The next few questions are
very similar to questions
that might be asked on the
• They follow the pattern
that is used in the WEST-E
Study Guide.
Example 1
• The three most important
people in my life are my
mom, my dad, and my
sister. My mom is important
to me because she always
understand me and she
always help me. My dad is
important to me because
we always have fun
• On the basis of the writing
sample, this student has
not yet mastered
– (A) third-person singular endings
for regular verbs
– (B) simple present-tense forms of
irregular verbs
– (C) use of adverbs of frequency
– (D) possessive pronouns
• The correct answer is A.
• This question tests your knowledge of
basic grammatical terms. Although
the speakers uses adverbs, irregular
verbs and possessive pronouns
correctly, he or she makes two errors
in the use of the 3rd person singular
• Expect to be tested on your
knowledge of the parts of speech.
Example 2
• I coming, I coming here
when I have twelve years.
I coming for eight months,
came for, for eight, for, my,
for eight months, uh...
• In the speech sample, the
student most likely is
intending to do which of the
(A) Talk about two events that took
place in the recent past
(B) Talk about how old he was at a
given time in the past
(C) Relate how long he plans to stay in
the United States
(D) Relate how old he will be after a
certain period of time
• The correct answer is B.
• This question asks you to apply
your knowledge of verb tenses
to decipher a student’s
utterances. The student refers
to the past in two different
ways: “when I have twelve
years” and “for eight months.”
• Expect to be asked to figure
out what a speaker means
using your knowledge of
Example 3
Which of the following
sentences is in the passive
1. Dmitry has been working
2. He was denied a day shift.
3. Eva has passed her classes.
4. Dinner is being prepared.
• The correct answer is B.
• This question tests your ability to
recognize the use of the passive
voice. A sentence is passive when
the subject is acted upon by an
agent, named or unnamed
• It must have the verb form
• A good way to identify a passive
sentence is to try to make it active.
He was denied a day shift.
His boss denied him a day shift.
Questions for Review
• Each of the following error
contains an error or
nonstandard use common
to ESL students
• According to the article,
“The First in the Family To
Be Supersized” ,by Jennifer
Tang, a lady discusses
about the issues of being a
big woman.
• This is a preposition use
• This question tests your
ability to recognize
prepositions and their
standard use.
• Unfortunately, this
lady’s mother made
her to eat a lot, and did
not notice that it was
bad for her daughter’s
• This is an error in the use
the infinitive form of a verb.
• This questions your
knowledge of the standard
use of verb forms and your
ability to articulate that
• Until they visited a
doctor, and told her
that she had to stop
eating fast food,
otherwise she could get
heart disease.
• There are actually a
couple of errors in this
sentence, but the major
issue is the lack of a subject
in the second clause.
• This question tests your
knowledge of clause
structure and your ability to
articulate that knowledge.
• He says that him and his
brother were sent to
Chinese school in the
• This sentence illustrates
non-standard pronoun use.
The first ‘him’ is in the
objective case, but should
be in the subjective case.
• This questions asks you to
demonstrate your
knowledge of pronouns
and their standard use.
• We can learn how to
speak in English if we go to
school and practice it
every day and try do the
things that a American
• This sentence illustrates a
nonstandard use of a
determiner. The writer
should have used ‘an’ in
front of ‘American.’